30 July 2012

Little Scribbler: likes I am acrylic

Yes she does. Or, I do. I'm sure talking about oneself in the 3rd person is wack.

This weekend I was at Camp Bestival (more on that...) - family friendly summer festival hot-spot for the middle class. Really: some of the kids' names I heard included Tilly, Barney, Elodie, Millicent and, I think and hope, Balthazar. Nae offence if any of those are your names - they're perfectly nice names. But there's no denying, they're pretty hooray-Henry in the naming stakes. And that's kind of the Camp Bestival vibe, from the fancy foodie offerings to the Guardian and Observer stalls, it's a classier vibe than your average festival. But...it's great fun too! I'll bore scintillate you with it later this week.

One thing CB does well is shopping. It's got some of your usual tat but, as befits the audience, the stalls tend towards being of a better calibre than, say, T-in-the-Park. And one stall I spotted was that of "I am acrylic", super cute (mainly acrylic) made by Brendan and Ruth. I don't want to copy the 'about' section from their site, but you can read it here.

I'm always on the look-out for cute independent jewellery brands. Ever since Lady Luck Rules OK closed its shiny doors, I've struggled to find a suitable replacement. Punky Pins is a bit mass. I LOVE Tatty Devine but it's often a wee bit out of budget. So I was dead pleased to stumble upon these guys. Look at some of the cute stuff they do:
Sadly they didn't have any tea pots or shooting stars at Camp Bestival, but I did pick up these teeny acrylic charms:
Glorious angular heart
This one's actually a great neon red transparent acrylic.
And check out the cute box the necklaces come in - even at a festival. I appreciate that attention to detail.

And their adorable wee business cards! Check them out sometime. But don't buy all the good stuff before me!

22 July 2012


No, not the 1980's classic starring Kim Cattrall, but me. As I, inadvertently, dressed from head to knee in H&M last week - the boots were an old sale bargain from Urban Outfitters. Normally, I don't do head to toe one shop because I have loads of random bits and bobs and because sometimes you see someone in a head-to-toe look from one place and it just looks lacking in imagination and a bit contrived. But it would appear that I was H&M-ed. I am an H&M mannequin:

Everything: H&M. You know that by now.
To be fair, it doesn't look shite and who in their right mind wouldn't wear a glitter jumper and bejewelled collar t-shirt at every available opportunity?

I figure H&M deserve a massive Llara-shaped highlight right now too because I returned some stuff there recently and, on opening the bag at the cash desk, I found a spider running about on the clothes. The dude at the cash desk was most cool and calm about it - by my standards I was too. I think I'm beginning to make peace with spiders these days. Anyhoo, when the spider moved onto the bag plastic for a sec, I grabbed the stuff out and the nice dude took the bag away - phew! Thanks nice H&M dude.

Major collar jazzling! Note, no Adam's apple. That's right: I'm well a chick.
Have any of you actually seen mannequin? It's one of those films on my 'to see' list that I've never actually got around to. One day, eh?

16 July 2012

Charlotte Olympia-ah-ah-ah!

You might have noticed that there are two things I'm kind of obsessive about (though, if you spent time with me in 'real' life, you'd know I'm also obsessed with gin. I have at least seven different varieties in the cupboard just now): fancy shoes and leopard print. Combine the two and it's pure dynamite-ee-hee (as Ms Dynamite might say) for me. And, in a nutshell, that what's this post is about. The perfect fusion of designer shoe and leopard print. Please, allow the picture story to unfold...

Designer shoe boxes feel so nice. And this one is no exception.
Oh, attention to detail! Charlotte Olympia shoes come with a sticky back Polaroid that you can stick to your boxes to see what's in them. Cause, y'know, you have so many pairs of Charlympias that there's just NO WAY to know what's in each box! If you like, you could just shake the Polaroid picture. Discuss.
I'm developing a whole new appreciation of spider's webs.
BOOM! I put the shoes in yo' face!
One of things I love about a posh shoe is the finish of them. These babies are covered all over, bar the ball of the foot and the heel tip, in the same fabric as the upper. It's just so darn nice. The shoe is finished with CO's web logo.
Where I went right with this purchase was going for a chunky heel. My previous designer purchases all have skinny heels so they're less practical. These are practical beyond belief. I should point out at this time that my version of practical, when it comes to shoes, may vary somewhat from that of the average person. My most practical shoes are a pair of glitter ankle boots and I walked 6 miles to a party in heeled boots last night. Leopard print goes with everything I own (whether you like it or not) so these guys are P-RA-C-T-I-C-A-L! With a giant P.

I'm off to continue eyeing up a pair of sequinned Miu-miu sandals...

13 July 2012

Science via fashion: another San Francisco tale...

Let's get tenuous. I like a good tenuous link. They used to do a celeb tenuous link thing on some radio show (I think Chris Evans), maybe they still do - Top Tenuous. They'd pick a famous person and the ten best tenuous links to that person got read out. Things like 'my mum was in the background when so and so was filming a link outdoors near our house. We didn't know til we spied her on telly'. Or 'I once went to a pub and it turned out Gary Barlow was there the week before'. You get the gist.

My tenuous link is 'see this t-shirt I wore yesterday? I bought it in San Francisco which means I can now tell you about something I did there'. Ta-dah! So, without further ado, here's the t-shirt:

diamante studded t-shirt from Forever 21.
And the outfit.

studded skirt: H&M, boots: Topshop. I was tired and had a headache yesterday so I went with stretchy clothes and flats.

And a close up of the boots. Just cause.

And so to my tenuous link to San Francisco: The California Academy of Sciences!

I probably don't come off as a science buff. I'm not one - that could be why. However, I do enjoy a bit of sciencey stuff. I loved Chemistry and Biology at school and always assumed I'd go into something scientific at uni and beyond. Sadly, by the time I finished my highers, I was sick of science, something I still think is kind of a pity. I could be doing waaaay useful stuff now.

Another reason I enjoy a bit of sciencey stuff is that its broad ranging subject matter really evokes passion in its fanatics and I find that very attractive. Not OTT stage schooly passion: passion that can't be helped and is unselfconscious.

And so, hearing that CAOS was a swell place to spend a bit of time, Mr Scribbler and I took ourselves for a wee look around it while we were in San Fran. It's in the gargantuan Golden Gate Park. Seriously, you could spend days in that park: there's so much to do! The de Young museum (which had a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition while we were over), a giant carousel, the Japanese Tea Gardens, bikes, a lake where you can boat, tremendous floral displays and, apparently (though we never made it that far), amazing sunset views, if the fog doesn't creep in. Next time we're over, I'll be back there for sure.

The academy starts with a section on Africa, as a key location when it comes to evolution, full of museum style stuffed animals:

Some real animals snuck in too:

This little guy was a big time performer.
You then move onto a big section on evolution. These ladybirds (which were hopefully already dead before they became involved in this display) demonstrate the differences in an apparently identical species, with no two ladybirds actually displaying the same markings.

A little bit of time jumping and you're taken through earth's time line since the big bang. Look away now if you're right god fearing.
The big focus at the Academy just now is on earthquakes - there's an exhibition complete with a shaky house you can stand in and a planetarium show. Unfortunately you cannae really get pictures inside the planetarium or the shaky house. In the planetarium, we were taken through a brief history of earth, a bit about how earthquakes happen - all stuff you pretty much get anyway (if not, Google it. Or go to San Francisco. I know which option I'd choose...) - continental shift, tectonic plates etc and some stuff on why California is such an earthquake hot spot (it sits over joins of three tectonic plates, one of which basically runs right down the Californian coast). You then learn about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 in which the city was badly damaged. Worse though were the fires that ravaged post quake destroying much of the city as it was then known. There's actually quite a bit about it on site. If you're interested, check it out. How nice am I with my handy link? The shaky house part is kind of fun to begin with but, when you consider how you'd feel if that was your house shaking uncontrollably, out of the blue, it's sobering to say the least.

I could keep going on and on but I suspect you're wondering when I might ever finish this post. So, in a nutshell, you also have a fantastic aquarium downstairs in the basement, which apparently is far better than SF's actual aquarium, as well as an amazing 4 story glass dome housing a 'rainforest'! Here - I'll paint pictures with pictures instead of words now...

When you're in the rainforest, you look down into the water and, beyond the fish, you see right down into a tunnel at the bottom of the aquarium, seeing people walking about under the fish. I can unashamedly say this is cool as fuck!
The fish in the aquarium are spectacular and there's nowhere near enough room here to share them all. You have everything from tiny tanks, to the walk through tunnel mentioned about, to GIANT tanks a la the one on the left - it was easy about 15-20 feet high and filled with the most striking fish. It was like a Mary Katranzou dress come to life.
The lower and mid reaches of the rainforest are packed with reptiles and amphibians. I LOVE a neon poisonous frog - such great outfits. I have a thing about lizards too. They just move in such a brilliant way. My advice to the dude at the bottom right is 'watch your crotch' Looks like the snake thinks he's found a pal...

Speaking of which...
I can't recommend the Academy enough. We spent hours there and I'd happily go back again, especially as, by the time I get back over, the earthquake exhibit is likely to be something else. Plus, science is changing all the time! Entry cost us about $25 each but I think but you can get a San Francisco pass for $69 which gets you into a bunch of places, plus lets you on the cable cars and all public transport too. Seriously, you'd think I was advertising for them but I'd genuinely consider getting one next time I'm there. Do you love how confidently I talk about my next trip there, like I just have thousands of £s kicking about ready to send me back? I don't. Time to get saving Llara...

8 July 2012

Let's go (shopping)...to San Francisco!

I've recently had the glorious joy of having a wee holiday in San Francisco. If you ever get the chance to go, I'd heartily recommend that you do. There's so much to see and do and it has, minus the crazy fog, a glorious but not too hot climate. We were there late June so we missed the first of the crazy UK rain while we were away - bonus! Obvs, I'm getting rained on now good style. Ah well - I'm not a witch, I won't melt.

Back to San Fran. I was there for a week and in California nine days total - way too much action for one little post. So, I figured I'd break it down (y'all) and start with what I'm good at: the shopping highlights. San Francisco shopping is really good. You have all your high street stuff and big department stores if you're so inclined and you know what works out cheaper bought in the US. The exchange rate's only ok just now though so there aren't quite such amazing savings to be made these days. Though tell that to a $3.99 bottle of perfectly drinkable Californian wine. One high street place you can definitely save is Forever 21 - plus, it seems like their stuff in the US is nicer than the selection I've seen here. I snaffled a couple of mini skirts (bring on the rainbow lurex mutha fugga!), a diamante studded t-shirt (cause I'm 12) and a purdy summery maxi dress there:

F21 aside, I didn't do too much high street shopping at all: so much of it is the same stuff we have over here and there was much more to be seen than the generic inside of another H&M! Plus, one thing San Francisco is brilliant for is vintage and thrift shopping and little boutiques. And it was in these stores I bagged my best bargains. First up, my $12 jumpers:

Don't even try telling me there's no place in life for orange neon lace jumpers. I wasn't sure about this at first but the sun went to my head and I got it anyway. I've now worn it and it's bloody awesome! That was a wee boutique-y bargain. But the same place did vintage and second hand and yielded this:

Being a big time magpie, I couldn't walk past it - it was hanging way up the wall and I had to get the chick to grab it down with a grabber stick and, even if it hadn't fitted, I probably would have bought it anyway! I've sewn back on the loose sequins and handwashed it now and it's hanging up airing - it's one of those that's clinging desperately to its musty smell. Ah well, if I have to go out smelling a bit old lady-tastic, I have to go out smelling a bit old lady-tastic. I'll look frigging awesome. You win some, you lose some. The top is made by a brand called Tally Boutique New York. A quick Google search isn't turning up anything on them unfortunately, just a few other pieces for sale on t'interwebs.

Unbelievably, I'd nearly walked past the shop - I was put off by all the slutty-clubber looking neon tat in the window (they definitely favoured a net tutu and a boob tube). Feel free to have an ironic LOL as you recall the lurid orange number I bought...anyway, the shop (whose name I didn't notice - it was on the main street in Haight Ashbury) also did good ol' second hand and I bagged this, still tagged, Calvin Klein dress for a mere $24.95!

It's a gorgeous cornflower blue and still had all the pin tucks in the skirt tacked closed. The skirt is super full and the bodice is boned and just ever so slightly neat on - it'll be grand if I'm standing up and not eating loads. Though, that doesn't sound like me...

And so to my last fashion based bargain. A pair of woven leather, tasselled Bally loafers. For just $8.50! That's about £5.50! Holy Mary. These things are expensive new! They're so Man-From-Delmonte. And, to them, I say YES! Time to go - I have a medallion to polish and some pimpin' to do...

2 July 2012

Gucci, Zara, Gucci, Zara...

Check out these Gucci shoes - swoon!

They're so crystal clad and sparkly! And they're currently on sale at Net-A-Porter at £735 down from £1470. Bargain, huh? Eh, no, not so much. I mean, I know they're Gucci and all but that's still pretty crazy money. So, in theory, they're out of reach. Or are they...

Look what I found in Zara!

As usual, my pictures do them no justice - they're far prettier and sparklier looking than I've captured and look waaaaay more expensive than their £59.99 price tag. I'll be honest: I actually bought these a month or so ago for the sheer love of them, having never seen the Gucci numbers. It was just today while I was browsing designer sale shoes (post on that coming soon. Too. Much. Swoon) that I spied the Guccis and did a whiplash inducing double take. My Zara's may not have crystal heels too but the difference between the tens and hundreds of pounds will go a loooooooong way! On more shoes most likely...